Visually, Rogue One was like A New Hope on steroids; Gareth Edwards took elements from the original, retained what needed to be retained, and enhanced the rest, creating a vivid, easy-on-the-eye landscape that appears simultaneously familiar and exclusively modern — like upgrading the original 1977 hit from 240p to 4k ultra HD.
Along with cinematographer Greig Fraser, Edwards crafted an immersive Star Wars universe that didn't only add to the story, but became a part of it. From the AT-ACTs to a more menacing Death Star, the canvas on which #RogueOne unfolded was a joy to behold. And, in this case, its beauty wasn't only skin deep.
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The Subtle 'Rogue One' Easter Egg Hidden On Jedha
Of all the locations, the planet of Jedha was one of the most exquisite. In an interview with Collider, Edwards revealed that the scenic holy city also contained a hidden depth, subtly referenced in "visual clues" to one of the most intricate of Rogue One Easter Eggs. Talking of the striking appearance of Jedha, he explained the circular layout of rocks wasn't for aesthetic reasons only:
"The idea was that there was a meteor impact that hit Jedha and it came at such a force that it was what created the Kyber Crystals at the center of that crater of impact. So Jedha is like this very unique place in the galaxy in that it’s got a very high density of Kyber Crystals, which is what the Jedi need for lightsabers."
For those unfamiliar, Kybers are living crystals that are attuned to the Force and share a collective consciousness. Although they are naturally inclined toward the light, they can also be used by Sith-Lords, making them highly valuable to both #Jedi and the Galactic Empire as the main component used in lightsabers. In Rogue One, Jyn Erso is given a Kyber crystal necklace by her mother, Lyra.
Kyber Crystals Made Jedha A Holy City
Due to Kyber's spiritual significance, Jedha, with its high concentration of crystal, became a haven for those who believed in the Force, as well as those looking for spiritual guidance — all originating from a collision of a happenstance. Edwards adds:
"It became this holy city as a result of that meteor impact. But that must’ve happened maybe millions of years ago. We tried to tell that story in the establishing shot, you see the circular formation and at the heart of it is Jedha city."
The establishing shots in question are some of the most spectacular in Rogue One. Unfortunately, despite its beauty, Jedha faced a sombre fate; it was exploited by the Galactic Empire, who occupied its landscape to use the rich source of Kyber for use with the Death Star, which later obliterated the capital city in a test run.
Such attention to detail also shows the meticulous efforts Edwards and his creative team made to add richness to the #StarWars universe. And it also illustrates another exciting element; fans' fastidious obsession with taking in all the details may also uncover Kyber crystals of knowledge lying below the surface.
Did you suspect that the layout of Jedha was linked to the formation of Kyber crystals?